Documenting (and Promoting) MoveOn

It’s astounding to realize that has now been a part of our political landscape for several years now, but as the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War approaches, it’s well worth thinking about the role of MoveOn in reshaping grassroots politics.  While a number of organizations have used digital media to create networks of activists, MoveOn has tremendous symbolic value, both because of the sheer size of their mailing list and because they served as a loaded shorthand for a number of practices and beliefs (often pejoratively as Bush’s references to a “lunatic left” indicate).  The trailer itself offers what appears to be a relatively straightforward narrative beginning (for the most part) with the Iraq War activism and culminating in the election of Barack Obama.

With that in mind, I’ll be curious to see the new MoveOn documentary that was produced by Brave New Films.  Their house party distribution of Uncovered: The War on Iraq was one of my earliest introductions to the potential of digital distribution, and the fierce reaction to the film illustrates the power not only of Robert Greenwald’s research but also of social networking tools for assembling people at over 2,600 screenings across the U.S.  As usual, the film is bing promoted to house parties scheduled for late August, not to mention a creative contest that invites a select number of winners to receive two tickets plus airfare and hotel to attend the film’s premiere.


  1. Wayne Said,

    August 9, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    Be interesting to see how the media wars play out over the Obama years.
    Right now in my area of Wisconsin the Obama folks are running scared they never felt they would see the right use what they (Obama group) thought owned.
    The Revolution will not be televised but on You Tube

  2. Chuck Said,

    August 10, 2009 @ 9:15 am

    I don’t detect the “running scared” sentiment on most of the liberal blogs that I read. If anything, there is a lot of frustration that a smallish minority has hijacked the health care debate with phony arguments about “death panels” and such.

    We’ll probably continue to see some of the same grassroots and astroturf video production that we’ve been seeing for a while, and (wearing my cynic’s hat briefly here), anything remotely revolutionary that’s shown on YouTube will find its way to cable news.

    I do think you’re right that some liberals may have convinced themselves that they were operating from a position of dominance online, but viral videos thrive on passion and controversy, and all political POVs can trade in those things.

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